The crooked cop sim This Is the Police was, to my mind, a really interesting idea that didn't quite come together in execution: "Looks and sounds gorgeous," we said in our review, "but becomes dull and repetitive after the first couple of hours." Later this year developer Weappy will take another run at it with This Is the Police 2, a tale about another chief in another town, with some big problems of her own.
Lilly Reed is the new sheriff of Sharpwood, a small, remote northern town plagued by smugglers, gangs, and worse. Corruption is rampant, and the officers under her command are a dodgy bunch at best. And now there's a new stranger in town named Warren Nash, who may or may not end up making things even worse.
It's interesting that, while the game is ostensibly about Reed, the announcement trailer is focused entirely on Nash. It's also obvious that Warren Nash is in fact Jack Boyd, the lead character from the original game: He doesn't speak much but he sure sounds a lot like Duke Nukem when he does (that'd be voice actor Jon St. John, who portrayed Boyd in This Is the Police), and in case that doesn't sell it for you, he also pretty clearly says "Boyd" before throwing out the fake name.
It sounds like the setup for a fairly conventional Hollywood action-redemption tale—broken tough guy retreats to a cabin in the woods to live out his days in solitude but gets caught up in a local power struggle and discovers that the real heroes are the friends he makes along the way—but the studio says it will offer the same sort of morally ambiguous "adventure and management" gameplay as This Is the Police, with new mechanics that will put a greater emphasis on strategy.
"It won’t be enough just managing the equipment of your policemen and keeping in mind their individual skills. Every challenge requires the player’s direct participation, and the outcomes will depend on every decision you make," the announcement says. "Now your subordinates aren’t just some resource; they are living people with their own strengths, weaknesses, fears and prejudices, and you'll have to reckon with all these things in order to survive."
The debut trailer seems to be aiming for some Tarantino-style tension—"What does Marcellus Wallace look like?" and all that—but I think it falls well short of the mark. It's too long, too slow, too static, and doesn't say anything about the game except that the members of the local constabulary are Bad Guys. It's not a disastrous introduction by any stretch, but I hope the final game shows more restraint and refinement.
This Is the Police 2 is listed on Steam and expected to be out later this year. The original This Is the Police is on sale until February 6 for $5/£5/€5.